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New 2015 Subaru WRX High On Design, Missing Hatchback

2015 Subaru WRX Redesign
For one of the most anticipated vehicles at this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show, the 2015 Subaru WRX is predictable and even somewhat conservative to look at from the outside. But, there’s a lot going on under the hood of the new vehicle that has some automobile critics already calling it the best Subaru WRX ever, at least on paper. The new vehicle is a completely redesigned version of the WRX and is being positioned by Subaru as a high performance version of rivals such as the Ford Focus ST, Volkswagen GTI and the Mazdaspeed3.

Goodbye Hatchback, Hello Sedan

With the 2015 WRX, Subaru has finally done away with the five-door hatchback model. The car will instead be available only as a four-door sedan with almost exactly the same height, length and width dimensions as the Subaru Impreza. As part of the 2015 WRX redesign, Subaru has given the car a new wide-body appearance with vertical side vents that bring a distinctly aggressive touch to the vehicle. The new vehicle ships standard with 17-inch Dunlop aluminum sport wheels, new LED taillights and optional LED headlights.

Under the Hood

The real beauty of the 2015 Subaru WRX concept lies under the hood, according to auto critics. The car sports a 2.0-liter, four cylinder, turbocharged direct-inject engine that delivers 268 horsepower and 260 pound feet of torque compared to the 265 horsepower and 244 pound-feet of torque delivered by the outgoing engine. Though the new engine is actually smaller than the one it is replacing, new cams, valve springs and variable valve timing on the exhaust and intake cams combine to give the 2015 WRX engine better output and higher performance. For the 2015 WRX, Subaru has replaced its existing five-speed transmission with a six-speed base manual transmission featuring carbon-fiber synchronizers for the first and second gears. The manual transmission comes with a standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive System with a 50:50 power split between the front and back axels. Manual shifting is enabled through a steering wheel mounted gear paddle that offers drivers a choice between standard, “sport” and “sport sharp” modes.

Automatic Transmission Option

The real 2015 Subaru WRX news though is the Sport Lineartronic continuously variable transmission (CVT) that Subaru has decided to make available as an option on the new vehicle. While hardcore car enthusiasts are likely to be appalled at the thought of an automatic transmission on a sports car, auto critics have generally greeted the new feature with enthusiasm. The three-mode CVT features an "Intelligent", "Sport" and "Sport Sharp" mode and manages to deliver a sports-car-like feel even with an automatic gearbox. The CVT comes equipped with a launch control feature and a Variable Torque Distribution all-wheel drive system capable of automatically distributing power to the four wheels based on factors like steering angle, traction and cornering forces.

Fuel Economy

Subaru executives have privately maintained that the WRX CVT model can deliver up to 30 miles per gallon on the highway. However, the official fuel consumption estimates from the company are a bit more conservative. According to Subaru, the CVT configuration will deliver 19 miles per gallon in the city, 25 mpg on the highway and about 21 miles per gallon in combined driving conditions. Pricing for the 2015 WRX is expected to become available early next year. Subaru plans to start shipping the 2015 edition in late Spring 2014.